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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 18, 2010 7:00am-8:00am EST

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>> although johnson & johnson declined to be interviewed for this report, a company spokesman confirmed that the $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the tylenol killer remains unclaimed. so if you have any information which might help the investigation, contact your local police department. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. unfinished business, what do they think they will accomplish
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in house? white house, how it will affect the u.s. what does the prize that comes with the burger and fries have to do with it? toy story 3, a look at some of the smash hits on the big screen. good morning. i'm alex witt and welcome to "msnbc saturday." the senate votes on two hotly contested measures, number one, repealing don't ask, don't tell. the dream act offers a road to citizenship for illegal immigrants that are brought here as children. let's go to ken strict land live on capitol hill. what is on the agenda today? >> reporter: good morning, alex, like millions of americans out trying to finish up their christmas shopping, trying to get everything done, so does the senate. a lot of things to do. the first thing is a procedure vote on the dream act. like you said, an immigration
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issue that would give adults a path to citizenship if they were brought here as children. after that, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." this is a stand-alone measure. a couple of judicial confirmations and if there is time, this he will get back to debating the new s.t.a.r.t. nuclear treaty with russia. yesterday, joe lieberman had a news conference. he is very optimistic for supporters of the repeal. if they are successful, it could be the last hurdle in a long road toward repeal. yesterday, he said he is looking for republicans to push them over the top to get them what they need. i continue to believe that we are going to end up with more support on the republican side than the four that we have talked about. let's say for now i am confident we have more than 60 votes. >> reporter: democrats have been 57 of their own who will support the repeal. they need help from republicans
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to get the 60. there are four people they are looking at who have said publicly they would support repeal. those four are susan collins of maine. scott brown of massachusetts, lisa murkowski of alaska and olympia snowe also of maine. if those republicans join democrats, they will have the 60 and overcome the last hurdle and basically one more final vote that takes a simple majority to push that over the edge. a lot of things on the agenda. the votes start at about 10:30 this morning. alex? >> ken strickland, thanks so much.
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care about is growing the american economy and creating jobs for the american people. taken as a whole, that's what this package of tax relief is going to do. >> the law includes a provision president obama campaigned heavily against in 2008, that being extending tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% in this country. so, across the pond this morning in europe, a huge storm is paralyzing countries across the continent. snow and ice all coming with one of the biggest storms to develop the region in 25 years. the storm was also having deadly consequences for drivers and air travelers. nbc's jenny wifl is in london where the weather is outside nieceless to say very frightful. i have seen you having to jump around there trying to stay warm proceeding this live shot. i have to tell you, it looks so cold.
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we haven't seen something like that in a long time. >> reporter: you are right. it is absolutely freezing. in northern ireland, the heaviest snowfall in 25 years. freezing conditions. it has been going on for weeks now. here in london, this is the heaviest snowfall we have had for most of the year. it is causing absolute travel chaos. the railways, the roads and airports, they are all paralyzed at the moment. the two major airports in london, heathrow and gatwick, they are closed, no planes taking off until well into the afternoon. this would be the busiest weekend of the year in terms of people 2r568ing to see their relatives and to get away for the holiday season. people heading out to do last-minute christmas shopping. with all the millions of people out on the roads, that spells absolute chaos. overnights, we had around two feet of snow fell. some people, as a consequence, hundreds, if not thousands of people, ended up stranded in their cars on the motorways in
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some of the minor roads overnight. it really is dreadful here at the moment, alex. >> when you talk about the people that are stranded, how much warning was there that the snowstorm like this was coming? >> reporter: well, it is slightly embarrassing it has caught us out so much. we haved at least three days. we have had snow coming down for the last few weeks. in terms of it hitting pretty much the whole of the country and turning into a whiteout, i am not sure we knew it was going to be this bad, certainly not in london. >> jenny, i am seeing some cars about behind you. it looks a little bit less traveled in terms of the roadways than usual. is that true? are people staying off the roads because of this snow? >> well, they are certainly being advised to stay off the roads and not to travel unless absolutely necessary. you are right. we are standing jo ut sioutside buckingham palace.
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you are right, there would normally be a lot more traffic at the moment. >> brilliant of you to ware red today. otherwise, we might not be seeing you. we will see you again we hope. brutal cold in parts of the country. this is a temperature sign from fairbanks, alaska. it is going to read 35 degrees below zero. you see the minus sign there. while frigid, it is not record-setting. in 1933, the temperature plunged to 52 below zero. let's go to bill karins. good saturday morning. good morning, everyone. in our last busy weekend trying to get your holiday errands done, the least thing you need is a stormy weather pattern. we have it in a few locations. a near miss for new england, two or three days ago. we are thinking possible big nor'easter. that storm is going to be out to sea. another cold blast of air is going to filter down in the middle of the nation. on the west coast, that is the stormy spot, california,
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especially. that's where all the bad weather is. this is your expected snowfall map for new england. now, nothing. we are not calling for any accumulating snows from that ocean storm. in boston, a nice weekend. temperatures are going to be in the mid-30s, which isn't bad for this time of year. cloudy and cooler on monday and tuesday. maybe a chance of flurries. look at wednesday, near 40 degrees. as far as the rest of the northeast, chance of snow showers around buffalo. not too big of a deal. the rest of the country, light rain to this morning. the west coast is where all the nasty weather is. high elevation snows will be a big problem. areas like los angeles and san diego and san francisco, you are going to need that umbrella handy today and tomorrow. all your friends out west, they are getting all the nasty weather. back to you. >> thanks for the heads up. investigators in los angeles say they have received hundreds of calls since releasing photos of 160 women who may be victims of a serial killer.
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they found the photos at the home of lawn any buchanan. one woman says picture number 118, her sister, last seen in 2005. >> i just want answers. it has been five years. i have been getting the run-around for five years. >> several other callers say they are among the women seen in the photos. more to come on this, certainly. police in new york say they don't expect to find anymore bodies along a long island beach where the remains of four women were found one week ago. police were out combing a ten-mile stretch looking for additional bodies or clues. that is rights say a serial killer could be responsible. we will have more coming up later with clint van zandt. a major court decision is expected any time now in italy for amanda knox. lawyers for the 23-year-old are asking for a review of forensic evidence in the case. that evidence was used to convict knox of murdering her
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roommate, meredith kercher, in 2007. today's hearing is the latest attempt to overturn her conviction. she was sentenced to 25 years. investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked this massive four-alarm fire at a historic tabernacle in utah. the roof is destroyed. a fire marshal says there is serious structural damage. the tabernacle was built in the 1880s and 1890s. it has been on the national register of historic places since 1975. taking the happy out of the happy meal. mcdonald's maple must children's meal is part of a target for the toys in the box. >> reporter: if they had a home outside the cardboard box, the reece household in cincinnati might be it. leslie started eating happy meals with her son 25 years ago. back then, he was enticed by the toys. she was enticed by the cheap meal. ever since, their home is
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practically sprouted arches. >> to have something that they can play with that doesn't cost very much money is, i think, a good thing. >> reporter: while she sees the toys as collect i believes for future grandkids, others see them as a ronald mcdonald plot to entice kids to eat poorly. >> i would like my children to make decisions about food aside from a toy they would like to have. >> renee parham is leading a class action suit that says they are deceptive and unfair. she claims kids aren't old enough to understand it. ads for a good toy doesn't mean good nutrition. >> they then respond to those advertisements by asking me to take them to mcdonald's. >> reporter: asking, begging and crying. whatever the tactic that the little person uses to get their happy meal, it is usually pretty persuasive. this lawsuit has caused a lot of
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people to ask one very basic question. >> are you going to be the parent or are you going to let your children tell you what to do? >> reporter: are happy meal toys the problem? >> i think it is the most frivolous and ab serd lawsuit i have seen in my career. are are mcdonald seas said it is proud of its happy meal. they plan to vigorously defend their brand, reputation and food. >> the bad diet is it stick. for people like leslie, sometimes a toy is just a toy. for parents, sometimes a no has to be a no. lee cowan, nbc news, los angeles. looking ahead to the next year in washington, we'll talk about the big political issues that will dominate 2011. also, the new reports that say al qaeda may be planning suicide attacks right here in the u.s. over the holidays. hitting the road nin the lat
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week before christmas. will we see drunken drivers? wii we'll check it out for you here on "msnbc saturday." ♪ ah, it's stinging a little bit more than usual! yeah, you'll get used to it. the longer you keep your high mileage car, the more it pays you back. get castrol gtx high mileage. it helps engines last longer by fighting
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the race to christmas is on. more people to hit the skies this year. travelers will be going farther by an average of more than 1,000 miles. kevin tibbles has traveled from our bureau to chicago's o'hare
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airport. with a good morning to you. what's it looking like out there? kind of busy? >> reporter: i have lost -- >> kevin, can you hear me? >> reporter: i can now. >> here is the deal. we just tossed to you. i have been seeing a bunch of activity behind you there. what's going on at o'hare? is this busier than normal on a saturday morning at 7:15? it is only 6:15 your time. >> reporter: i just had a bit of a technical difficulty inside my crain yum for a second. >> don't you hate that. that's hard. >> reporter: i can't believe how busy it is here this time of day. you know, it is supposed to be the busiest travel week of the year or whatever. i'm so jaded, alex, i have heard that so many times that when i show up here at like 5:30 or whatever in the morning, it's packed. everybody is frying to get home for the holidays, which is a wonderful thing for people to
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do. interestingly enough, it is not only going to be santa claus that's going to be flying this year, air travel is up almost 3%. auto travel is up 3%. spending is up 3%. the number 3s obviously are a big number this year. the airlines are saying to us that don't expect to be lonely while you are flying this year. you are going to have a seatmate, because all the flights are going to be packed. the one thing we have to look for is the fact that there are some weather systems developing, especially out on the northeast coast out where you are. so people are going to be looking for snow and hoping that their loved ones don't wind up sleeping on the floor at jfk or something. >> that's the worst. >> i for one am thinking that. i've got a kid going through there this week on his way back to chicago. let's hope he makes it. >> fingers crossed he does. are you seeing people carrying gifts that they are going to have to go through the x-ray machines or do you see people
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more packing them? do you see gifts accompanying those carry-ons? >> reporter: i see paem carrying way more luggage than normal, in the normal situation. i don't see wrapped gifts. that's because they have been listening to me for the last three decades explains how you shouldn't come to the airport with a wrapped present. while they are friendly at the tsa, they do have a job to do. every once in a while, this he may have to open your gift, which, of course, will ruin your day. don't show up with a wrapped present. don't show up with liquids or gels either. >> three decades and kouncounti good advice. more later. >> reporter: yes. congress plans to finish up the year's unfinished business. we are live in washington with political predictions for us. i thought you might have one of those hats on, remember the one that johnny carson used to have
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when he gave the predictions. you are going to do the legit one. here is prediction number one. you say the president is going to push for an overhaul of the tax code and a plan to tackle the long-term debt? >> he has really signaled that this year. i think that this bush tax cuts fight has really shown us that this could be an alliance of president obama, mitch mcmcconnell. you could see cuts to social security and medicare as well as elimination of some of the popular tax credits like the home mortgage insurance one. >> prediction number one. let's go to number two. that 2011 is going to be all about 2012. you say there are already ten republican debates on the calendar. >> there are ten debates already scheduled and not a single candidate has aannouncnnounced .
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a lot of these candidates have been and will continue to go to iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. we will see tim pawlenty with a big book tour. everybody is going to be waiting to see what sarah palin does. a lot of these candidates are some of the outside folks that think they can appeal to social conservatives, are going to really wait and see what she does. we are not going to hear some of the announcements, most of the announcements until late spring, april, maybe may. we are not going to have quite as long a session as we did the last time around but, certainly going to be intense and it is going to be busy. >> so are you saying that everyone is going to wait to see if sarah palin announces. would she be the one to jump first and then republicans come after her or no? >> well, yeah, i think that there are some folks. john thune, rick santorum have already mentioned she is kind of the elephant in the room so to
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speak. they are waiting to see. they are sort of testing the waters. they might like to run. she takes up so much of the oxygen and so much of the energy, to be frank, in a place like iowa where you have to go door to door and get a lot of those folks on board. it is going to be very difficult. don't forget about somebody like mike huckabee. people want to talk about sarah palin but huckabee won the '08 iowa caulk cusses. evangelicals like him. he is a very friendly guy, good, well-spoken, former southern baptist preacher. if he gets in, if sarah palin gets in, then, you will have a real fight for the oxygen in the room and who can get the social conservatives. mitt romney, the front-runner, we're likely to hear him announce later this spring. >> dem mon comon tan nar roe, thank you very much. the nbc news political unit. you can logon to first read. christmas goes underground
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in slovenia. visitors are heading underground to see a live performance of the nativity. they board a train that takes them through winding galleries into a cave to a setting where the nat tiffity is performed. the manager says the scene attracts 10,000 visitors every christmas season. kind of cool, right? for three hours a week, i'm a coach. but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn
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new reports that al qaeda may be planning suicide attacks here in the u.s. they captured someone and told authorities that an array of terror plots are in the works. they claimed that last week's suicide bombing in stockholm is just beginning.
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investigators are keeping a close eye on several suspects in new york linked to the plot. joining me to talk more about this is michael sheehan. a terrorism analyst. how seriously do you and our officials take this threat? >> every year and around the holidays, officials get very concerned whether there will be an attack. this year, one year after the christmas day underwear bammiom, we have that on our minds. we have this plot that talked about attacking a tree lighting ceremony. serious terrorists don't really look at holidays as a tipping point but nevertheless, with lots of crowds around, officials will be on high alert. >> how about the advanced warning. do serious terrorists give advanced warning, heads up, we are coming, prepare? >> this issue of chatter, when i was in the federal government, we always wondered about this chatter that came from so-called terrorists.
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it normally doesn't have a lot of substance to it. nevertheless, when you get those reports coupled with weak holiday crowds, you are going to be up on your toes. >> you don't want to cause panic but you have to bring up awareness. it does raise a lot of worry for a lot of folks. when you talk about the ability to do something, a chemical attack, nuclear attack, even on a small scale, relatively, the likelihood of th likelihood of that happening is? >> pretty small. al qaeda has stuck to their modus operandi. they haven't been able to generate a chemical, biological, radiological attack to date. we always remain concerned about that. they have always talked about having that capability. >> i want to talk about something "the new york times," i think we have a diagram real quick i want to show people.
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from a multi-agency government report by saying, stay inside, stay low to the ground. when you start putting information out there, doesn't that cause panic. >> this report came out of the federal government. the timing, i don't think, was coincidental. they put it out. what do you do with i aradiological or nuclear attack? it is very confusing. my judgment on nuclear attacks or a radiological bomb. if you are near the blast, you want to protect yourself from that immediate blast, the heat and shock and heavy radiation. the second thing you need to worry about is the fallout, the dust particles. you want to stay upwind from that, blow it out some place away from you. you want to stay away from it. the real message is, can you survive a nuclear or radiological attack. the answer is, yes, if you are smart and your not right near the blast. protect yourself from the blast and stay away from the fallout. >> interesting thoughts. we will have more in the 9:00 hour. thank you, michael. >> thanks, alex. >> a mystery or new york's long
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island. we are going to hear from former fbi profiler, clint van zandt coming up. if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering.
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within the half hour, the senate will start up a rare saturday session. we have the dream act, "don't ask, don't tell" maybe the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. another item could be the 9/11 bill that would help emergency workers on that day. joining nous is kristin jill brand from the state of new york. thank you for joining us. let's talk first since you are from new york, that 9/11 bill, your septembermentes on that, where it is going, what the hangups could be and what people are saying about it? >> i think we are going to pass this bill. we will hopefully have a vote between now and christmas. what this bill is about is the men and women who are first responders. the ones who ran up the towers and stayed on that pile to first find survivors and then find
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remains and then they did the cleanup. when the towers collapsed, terrible toxins were released. a lot of these men and women are now getting very ill from cancer and other very negative health effects. they need health care. we want to make sure we have a bill that we can fund their health care over the next decade to make sure they have the health care they need. >> where is the republican sentiment right now? do you think you have enough republicans that will confirm? aren't they the ones that pushed the timing back. >> yes, i think we will have the represent kangs we need. i have been working with about a dozen senate offices over the last six months. we have a good number of them that will stand and support this bill. >> republicans said they didn't want to vote on anything but tax cuts first, right? >> right. that was the problem with the last vote. we were two votes shy. every democrat voted for it. the republicans wanted to address taxes first. i think the few i have been talking with consistently will
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support this bill. it is also about the families that live at ground zero. a lot of the children, because they are so sensitive to chemicals and toxins, they are suffering great effects. the children will also be covered. that's important not to forget. >> let's talk about "don't ask, don't tell" and the likelihood of its being repealed is what in your esteem? >> we will repeal this very core roe sieve policy, "don't ask, don't tell." when we are focused on the military, we want to focus on military readiness and the strength of the military. we have lost 13,000 personnel, about 10% of our foreign language speakers. we have also lost about 800 in mission critical areas that cannot be easily replaced. making sure we have all of our best and brightest able to defend this country and to be in iraq and afghanistan, to make sure we can defend against terrorism.
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this vote is about military readiness and making sure our best and brightest can fight and the morality of our country. this is something that is clearly an issue of civil liberties, civil rights and equality. we want to make sure people are not denied the ability to serve this country or die for this country based on who they love. >> do you think if it does get repealed today, what's the time frame it may be implemented? i have talked about many a military analyst that say there are a lot of logistics that need to be considered. things like the way barracks are set up, the way bathrooms are set up. you don't necessarily think about the practical application. when might it be implemented then? >> the purpose of waiting this long, we allowed the military to do a review. the military took about a year. they reviewed the policy and did a report on how to implement the repeal. so they have been working on this for a year now, about how they would actually implement it? what this repeal vote is about is allowing the military to begin then to implement the
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repeal. the good news about this vote is it means not one more man or woman will be dismissed because of this discriminatory policy? that's what's important to me. i do not want to lose one more member of our armed services because of this policy. it can allow people to come back. i have met so many men and women that would love to continue to serve and are being denied because someone outed them or someone revealed something about them and their relationships. i am very hopeful that once we pass this, we will retain more in our armed services and bring some more of our best and brightest back. >> thank you, very much, kristin gillibrand. president obama and republicans leaders are claiming victory now that they have passed that massive tax bill. both sides have reason to celebrate. 59% of americans approve of the tax agreement. just 36% disapprove. 23% of people say the president
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gave up too much in the tax deal. 10% say republicans gave up too much. 61% say both sides truly compromised to get the deal done. john harwood joins us from the bureau there. good morning to you, john. >> good morning, alex. >> is everyone a winner here this week? >> i think they are. i think after this election, very contentious campaign season, a lot of predictions that washington was headed for absolute gridlock for a couple of years, both president obama and mitch mcconnell and john boehner, the republican leaders have proven on some really big things, they can govern together. that's a positive for both sides. the republican leaders held their troops in line behind that deal even though some conservatives grossed about it. the democratic leaders delivered enough to make it a reality. that doesn't mean they are going to agree on a whole range of issues in the next two years.
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there are going to be some big fights. in this tick moment, they have shown that it doesn't have to be only partisan warfare. >> don't you think this shows. this gives us a look at to how things might get accomplished and avoid gridlock that everyone is concerned about? >> yes. >> it is a compromise and a model to use down the road? >> absolutely. so does the likely outcome on "don't request, don't tell" you were just talking to senator ji gillibrand about. and the ratifying of the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. all of those things show that sometimes it is not a dead stop gridlock situation in washington. that will probably, the way things work in washington, that will probably provide some fuel for the next fights, because then people will have said, well, i compromised on that. so it is time to draw the line on something else. when it comes to tax cuts,
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that's not an unpopular thing to do. >> the art of compremiomise. republicans are threatening to pull their support for the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. they say it needs more discussion time. is that the real reason? >> no. this treaty has been around a long time. this is not about discussion. you have a lot of -- look at all the former republican national security officials who have embraced this. i think this is partly among a minority of senators some substantive disagreement. it is also not wanting to give the president a victory on this area. it is also wanting to get other things in return for the treaty. nuclear modern nation, some things on missile defense. i do think at the end of the day. they got 66 votes to stop debate on this and move to the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. they need 67 to pass it. can they get one more vote. when i talk to republican aids who are working on this issue, who are for this treaty, they
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say, yes, we will get enough to pass it. we will see in the next few days. it is certainly not a foregone conclusion. we seal a lot of you in 2011. that is for sure. for more of the business, logon to residents of an apartment complex in southern florida will have to find another place to live. the building's backyard collapsed into a canal. the residents had no idea what happened. >> i thought it was an earthquake. it was so weird. it was strange. i am still shaken up over it. it has been an interesting evening. >> no one knows what the caused the earth to give way. they will check to see if it is safe enough for the residents to return. record snowfall across the country. in california's sierra, nevada, they have snapped a 30-year
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record for the most snow. 300 inches have fallen already. let's go to bill karins. good saturday morning. bill? good saturday morning, everyone. on the east coast, everything is clear, no stormy, snowy weather. yes, some rain to deal with in the southeast but that will be clearing out as we go throughout the day. the cloud cover will keep it cooler. all the big weather attention is on the west coast. look at our 48-hour rainfall predictions for the weekend. when you look at the chart, when you get up there past the yellow into the oranges and the reds, we are talking inches of rain. specifically, that flow of moisture coming into los angeles and up through the central mountains, that's where we could see up to five to six inches of rainfall. the highest of elevations, mostly above about 7,000 feet, we are getting heavy snow out of that. notice for once, seattle, most of this wet weather will stay to the south of you. this is rare. you just don't see extended forecast like this for lanes. a chance of rain each of the next five days.
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it is not going to rain the entire time. there will be a chance of rainfall. the same forecast for san francisco. temperatures won't be too bad. milder, pacific air blowing in. your saturday forecast, on the east coast, no problems at all, a little bit of light rain. middle of the nation, not bad, snow showers possible around minneapolis. on the west coast, that's where all your weather issues are as we go throughout the weekend. back to you. >> thanks so much, bill karins. >> for several years now, an aurora colorado homeowner has had his driveway christmas lights mysteriously cut. this year, he set up a camera to catch the culprit. was there a scrooge or a grinch at play? nope. turns out it was a rap it chewing on the wire. now, he has used pepper spray to stop the bad bunny, that bad rap bit. [ s. greenlee ] i would love to have been a musician
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but i knew that i was going to need a day job. we actually have a lot of scientists that play music. the creativity, the innovation, there's definitely a tie there. one thing our scientists are working on is carbon capture and storage, which could prevent co2 from entering the atmosphere. we've just built a new plant to demonstrate how we can safely freeze out the co2 from natural gas. it looks like snow. it's one way that we're helping provide energy with fewer emissions. with an irresistible full key... oh, too much? now get an lg quantum™ for $199.99, and get one free. only from at&t. rethink possible.
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we're taking a look at some of the biggest films of the year this morning. first, 20-years in the making, tron:legacy. >> proceed to games. >> games? what am i supposed to do? >> survive. >> let's get details now from dan yenic, editor with life and style weekly. 20 years in the making worth the wait or no? >> depends on who you ask. it looks like a solid $47 million opening this weekend and certainly, fans from 1982 are fascinated by this. so much buzz.
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you have the sleek visuals, 3-d and jeff bridges, on a terror lately in hollywood. >> he is so popular. >> he is so good an opening in "true grit" in a few days. this movie could be better. the plot is confusing. the love story never takes off. you could feel like you are a bit more in the 3-d effects. it is a version of the matrix and star wars. fun, enjoyable. >> a couple of other films "how do you know" and "yogi bear." >> yogi, grab my paw. sorry. >> come on, boo-boo, pull him on there. are these working? >> despite terrible reviews, "yogi bear" seems to be coming in second place, a very distant,
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under $20 million. it feels a little bit lazy. it could have been a lot better. it doesn't have the same crossover appeal as something like "toy story 3" or "how to train your dragon." it seems like a no-brainer, loveable stars, reese witherspoon, paul rudd. a bit measured for a comedy not so funny. the chemistry is just not there. it doesn't look like it is going to break $10 million. >> when you think of brooks, you think of jack nicholson. he is a heavy hitter. >> what happened here. you have "as good as it gets" which was wonderful but he also did "spanglish" which was a big bomb. >> a couple other movies, limited, casino jack, franky and alice and rabbit hole. >> they are doing really well according to the critics.
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they were nominated for golden globes. we have kevin spacey, halle berry and nichole kidman starring. the fighter in black swan are opening to a wider audience. it looks like "the fighter" is going to come in third place and "black swan" is in the top ten. >> those are critic favorites. dawn yanek, more from you this morning. >> thanks, alex. >> we are taking a look. we are talking about the truck drivers and bus drivers the transportation department's cell phone ban calls for fines against drivers and their companies if they are caught driving and talking more than one time. a similar ban on texting and driving went into effect earlier this year. with the capital one venture card
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hi, may i help you?
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a major vote in the senate today on whether to repeal the
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ban of gays in the military. the senate's top advocate for repeal, joe lieberman, says he expects it to pass the procedural vote later today and could clear a final vote perhaps as early as tomorrow. here with me now is ed o'keefe. ed, good morning. >> good to see you, alex. >> good to see you. now, in terms of the appeal process here, what happens next? we have the president and top military advisers who need to certify the repeal that it wouldn't hinder or troops? >> that's right. basically if this vote is held, the final vote either today or tomorrow, we expect the white house will tell us president obama is going to sign the bill this week. at that point, we have 60 days for the president, defense secretary roberts gates, joint chiefs of staff to certify that the pentagon is ready to do this. and it's basically contingent upon mostly on whether or not
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doing so would impact troop readiness, morale and cohesion. a report issued earlier this month suggests that no, that would not happen. so it's believed this certification would happen easily and within that two-month time period. >> so how long would it be after that before openly gay soldiers could enlist? >> well, that's the big question. it's not going to happen overnight. it's not going to happen in two months. it's more likely to take at least six months maybe even up to a year if not more. a big reason is the pentagon is expected to decide that every single active duty service member at least at one point has to be talked to about this change in policy. and when you have combat troops out in the field, when you have combat troops at home on rest and combat troops getting ready to go, it's going to require you to phase that training and that in person discussion. >> you said every single member of the military needs to be basically panelled on this? >> yeah. the pentagon has discussed this
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sort of privately in the background saying, we have to at least at some point discuss this with everyone at least once. and look, when you come in for training, when you're getting ready to deploy, it's something that can be talked about in just a few minutes. but the idea is that they want to make sure everybody haas has been told about this at least one officially and once that occurs, at that point it will have been officially implemented. but because troops are on combat tours that last up to a year if not more, then they go out and come back, it could take a while to make sure that process occurs. that said, it doesn't mean they won't start making the changes in the meantime. >> and of the 13,500 who have been dismissed from the military, are they then allowed to reenlist? >> basically the report that was issued earlier this month, if those recommendations are adopted, it said yes, they should be allowed to reenist. that doesn't mean they will, but we know of many that want to. rank and file service members who say i'm ready to go.
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i want to go to the recruiting station as soon as possible to get this done. a lot of guys say, look, i'm perfectly qualified, i'm physically fit. the only reason i got kicked out was for this reason. i talked to guys who were service contractors in iraq who say i would be here in uniform if not for the fact that i had been kicked out under this policy. i'm perfectly qualified. this contractor that hired me and sent me over here knows that. i'm living and working on military bases, i'm using the same shower facilities, i'm sleeping in the same but you thinks and it's just i'm being paid with somebody else. it just seems silly, they say, that i can't do that. >> ed o'keefe, thank you very much from the washington post. >> good to talk to you. retailers like what they say. holiday shoppers are spending more this season. does that mean americans will spend beyond the holidays? we'll take a look. [ male announcer ] earlier today, your living room was game day central.
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